The Atlantic Odyssey cruise visits some of the remotest islands in the world, crossing the migratory paths of Arctic Terns, Long-tailed Skuas, other birds, and a variety of whales as they make their annual expeditions north for the breeding season.
• Visit Ushuaia, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, located on the far southern tip of South America
• In South Georgia visit some of the world’s top king penguin rookeries
• Sail along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, the submarine mountain range running some 16,000 kilometres
• In Praia visit the historic Cidade Velha and its massive hillside fortress, built to defend against English raiders
Your voyage begins where the world drops off: Ushuaia, Argentina, reputed to be the southernmost city on the planet, located on the far southern tip of South America. Starting in the afternoon, you embark from this small resort town on Tierra del Fuego – nicknamed “The End of the World” – and sail the scenic, mountain-fringed Beagle Channel for the rest of the evening.
Over the next two days on the Drake Passage, you catch a taste of life from the perspective of the polar explorers who first braved these regions: cool salt breezes, rolling waves, maybe even a fin whale blasting up a column of sea spray. After passing the Antarctic Convergence – Antarctica’s natural boundary, formed when north-flowing cold waters collide with warmer subantarctic seas – you are in the circum-Antarctic upwelling zone. Not only does the marine life change, the avian life changes too: A variety of albatrosses and petrels show up, along with Cape pigeons and southern fulmars.
Your aim is to visit some of the world’s top king penguin rookeries. This time of year you have a good chance of seeing these animals nesting on eggs, their chicks close by. The rookeries are overflowing, with waddling rush-hour traffic to and from the beach.
Possible visits include:
Salisbury Plain, St. Andrews Bay, Gold Harbour – Here you see not only the massive king penguin colony, but also elephant seals and limitless fur seal pups playing in the surf.
Prion Island – A great location to watch wandering albatrosses.
Grytviken – You have the opportunity to check out this abandoned whaling station, where king penguins now walk the streets and elephant seals lie around like they own the place – because they just about do. You might also see the South Georgia Museum as well as Shackleton’s grave.
Cooper Bay – A great place for a Zodiac cruise, this bay also houses a rookery of macaroni penguins. King penguins, pintails, and giant petrels may also appear here.
A pleasant tailwind often accompanies the vessel through the westerlies, and on both sides of the Convergence fly vast numbers of Antarctic and Subantarctic seabirds.
You first approach Gough Island for a Zodiac cruise in Quest Bay, weather permitting. Northern rockhopper penguins and Subantarctic fur seals are often seen here. In previous years it has been possible for the vessel to circumnavigate all but four miles of the 33-mile circumference of the island, taking in the scenery and unrivalled abundance of wildlife.
These islands are famed for their bird population, which includes rockhopper penguins, several species of albatross, petrels, skuas, terns, and many others. Your aim is to visit the settlement on the west side of this archipelago’s main island but the planned four days here may also allow us to land in Seal Bay on the south side or possibly at Sandy Point on the east side of Tristan da Cunha.
Here we may encounter wildlife such as Yellow-nosed albatrosses and Sub-Antarctic fur seals and otherwise explore a very rarely visited spot. We aim to land at Nightingale and Inaccessible islands, with views of seabirds ranging from yellow-nosed albatrosses to brown noddies.
Two day is reserved in case of bad weather, but please remember that nature determines the itinerary here: Since beginning the Atlantic Odyssey cruise in 1998, adverse weather led to the cancellation of 35% of Tristan da Cunha landings. It is not impossible, but it is difficult.
Seabirds and dolphins indigenous to this region often follow the vessel.
After landing at Jamestown, you have many opportunities to enjoy the local culture, pleasant climate, and endemic birds of this remote island. One such activity is a visit to Longwood House, where Napoleon died in exile. You also have the chance to explore the island on your own – and snorkel the shallows, seeing multitudes of tropical and subtropical fish.
Disembarkation and a flight to Europe is possible from here.
In the evening, the vessel departs for Ascension Island and Praia, Cape Verde via where you may also disembark.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. The on-board expedition leader will determine the final itinerary. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises.
The cabin provides you with; 1 porthole, 2 upper & lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone and Internet connection, a hair dryer and ample storage space. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin.
Same as the Quadruple Porthole, but with 3 berths. The cabin provides you with; 1 porthole, 1 upper berth & 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone and Internet connection, a hair dryer and ample storage space. This cabin is suitable for families traveling with children, or passengers who do not require a twin or more luxurious cabin.
The cabin provides you with; 1 porthole, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone and Internet connection, a hair dryer and ample storage space.
The cabin provides you with; 1 window, 2 lower berths, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone and Internet connection, a hair dryer and ample storage space.
The cabin provides you with; 2 windows, 1 double bed, 1 sofa bed, Private shower & toilet, Desk & chair, Flatscreen TV, Telephone and Internet connection, a refrigerator, a hair dryer and ample storage space.
Vessel Type: Expedition
Length: 89 metres
Passenger Capacity: 108 - 116
Built / refurbished: 1976 / 2009
M/v “Plancius” accommodates 116 passengers in 53 passenger cabins (108 passengers as of season Arctic 2020) with private toilet and shower in 4 quadruple porthole cabins, 2 triple porthole cabins, 9 twin porthole cabins, 26 twin cabins with window and 2 twin deluxe cabins, all (ca. 12,5 square meters) and 10 twin superior cabins (ca. 21 square meters). All cabins offer lower berths (one queen-size bed in the superior cabins and two single beds in the twin cabins), except for the 4 quadruple cabins (for 4 persons in 2x upper and lower beds), and 2 triple cabins (1 bunk bed plus 1 lower bed).
The vessel offers a restaurant/lecture room on deck 3 and a spacious observation lounge (with bar) on deck 5 with large windows, offering full panorama view. M/v “Plancius” has large open deck spaces (with full walk-around possibilities on deck 4), giving excellent opportunities to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. She is furthermore equipped with 10 Mark V zodiacs, including 40 HP 4-stroke outboard engines and 2 gangways on the starboard side, guaranteeing a swift zodiac operation. M/v “Plancius” is comfortable and nicely decorated, but is not a luxury vessel. Our voyages in the Arctic and Antarctic regions are primarily defined by an exploratory educational travel programme, spending as much time ashore as possible. Plancius fully meets our demands to achieve this. The vessel is equipped with a diesel-electric propulsion system which reduces the noise and vibration of the vessel considerably. The 3 diesel engines generate 1.230 horse-power each, giving the vessel a speed of 10 - 12 knots. The vessel is ice-strengthened and was specially built for oceanographic voyages. M/v “Plancius” is manned by an international crew of 37 (18 nautical crew and 19 hotel crew), 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader, 1 assistant expedition leader and 6 guides/lecturers), and 1 doctor.